Friday, January 21, 2022

‘Archaeological architecture from Solomon’s time’


A study published this month in Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology calls ashlar stone masonry “an elite style of architecture” that reveals clues into the time of David and Solomon.

“Royal Architecture in the Iron Age Levant,” by Madeleine Mumcuoglu and Yosef Garfinkel, identifies “six prominent characteristics of the royal style.” The stone masonry is counted with:

  • volute capitals;
  • decorated bases;
  • rectangular roof beams;
  • recessed openings of doors and windows; and
  • window balustrades

The researchers, both from Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, credit finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa, an ancient fortress twenty miles south of Jerusalem, for catalyzing this particular focus, but they discuss evidence from around the Levant.

“In the Kingdom of Israel, large and splendid architectural complexes associated with especially fine buildings with ashlar masonry were uncovered at Samaria, Megiddo, Dan, and Hazor, royal centers dating from the 9th-8th centuries BCE,” the study reports.

“The beginning of royal architecture took place very early in Judah, much earlier than any of the other political units known in the Levant,” it says in conclusion. “This early appearance in the Kingdom of Judah may surprise some scholars, but such royal architecture is mentioned in the biblical tradition in relation to David’s palace, Solomon’s palace, and Solomon’s temple.”

Read the paper here.

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